My first post last month, “Tonics 101,” defined tonic herbs, specifically how tonics help the body to better adapt to the challenges it faces, and how this approach differs from the symptom-oriented approach common in modern western medicine.
Today, let’s examine adaptogens, one of the best-studied classes of tonic herbs. Adaptogens are tonic herbs that address the immune system and help the body better cope with stress. These herbs are often said to have holistic healing properties that produce a general state of “well being” and balance.
Adaptogens work to boost the immune system and improve the body's resistance to the physical and emotional stressors that can cause illness, depression or stress. Adaptogens don't directly combat the symptoms caused by environmental and lifestyle stressors, but they can enhance and increase the coping mechanisms used by the body to respond to these stressors.